Tweeked has a quote on the front cover calling it "THE meth movie," which definitely got my attention, but after watching it I had to ask "How could a movie about meth be so boring?" I've heard great things about that other meth movie, Spun, but can't really comment on it because I personally haven't seen it. Still, I figured that a movie about speed would actually be fast paced. Tweeked was the visual equivalent of Ritalin as I found myself losing attention again and again.
Following the misadventures of those two girls that we've all known at some point in our lives, the spoiled suburbanites who think that they're edgy and dangerous because they do drugs and sometimes hang out with unseemly people. The ones who dumpster dive for some extra cash mommy and daddy refuse to pony up for their habit, yet somehow still manage to have a halfway decent apartment and drive some sort of older European car, be it a Volkswagen, Volvo or Beemer. I've certainly known people like this at one time or another and the last thing I'd like to do is watch a movie about them.
Carrie and Michelle are the two girls in question, both from somewhat well-to-do suburban families, but now living on the edge due to their meth fueled lifestyle. Carrie's strict Asian family has stopped giving her money to support her out of control habit, and Michelle seems to be draining her trust fund at an alarming rate. In need of cash for their next score, the girls score some old clothes and a beat up suitcase from the trash. They sell the clothes, but are left with the luggage which contains a semi-automatic pistol and some ammunition. Saving the gun to pawn later, the girls make their drug run only to return and find Carrie's roommate, a fellow junkie named Rikki, has killed himself.
Carrie freaks out, but Michelle takes it the hardest, as she had a fling with Rikki that she never quite got over. Confronting their dealer, Diablo, about Rikki's drug-fueled suicide, Michelle pulls the gun on him and blows off his finger. The girls nab his entire supply and make a hasty get away, only to find one of his goons guarding Carrie's apartment. They decide to head for San Diego and hole up for a bit with "friends" that Michelle knows. You'd think that two tweekers and a carload of meth would be a great combination, but as these girls aren't professional truck drivers, they get high and then can barely find their way out of LA. For the next 60 minutes, Carrie drives around aimlessly while Michelle's already tenuous grip on reality slips further and further away.
I actually think that Tweeked is less a film about drugs, and more a film about mental illness. They mention drug-induced psychosis in the film's description, but from the moment we meet Michelle, she already seems like she's got a couple screws loose. While the director may have wanted us to see the drugs taking their devastating toll on her mind, I actually saw a character who was taking drugs to quiet the voices in her head. Several times throughout the film, we see events from Michelle's perspective, and the hallucinatory state of her reality is not one I'd want to be in for long. As one can probably guess, things don't end well for the girls, but unlike many films on this topic, there is a message of hope at the end, but the trip it took to get there wasn't worth it.
Picture: Tweeked, is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen presentation. This movie was shot on DV, but occasionally looks like VHS. While much of the film appears somewhat flat, there is a nice color balance to the overall picture.
Audio: There is a 2.0 channel Dolby Digital Stereo Track, which sounds like much of the movie looks, bad. There are a couple of nice tunes on the soundtrack, but those tend to be the best part of most drug movies, now don't they?
Extras: Extras on this DVD include a couple deleted scenes, two trailers and some trailers for other Go Kart Films.
Conclusion: After watching Ball Of Wax and The Thrillbillys I'm pretty familiar now with the handmade aesthetic of the movies Go-Kart Films chooses to distribute. I like to think of myself as a fan and supporter of independent film, but I can't say that I've seen a really great one, or even a good one, in a long time. Too often, the problem with independent filmmakers is that they make the films for themselves, which is great if you have a unique and singular vision like a Quentin Tarantino, Richard Linklater or Robert Rodriguez. Now I know I just listed the poster boys for the indie film movement of the 90's, but their films were all good. Slacker is a good film, as are El Mariachi and Reservoir Dogs, although how that got called an independent film, I'm not really sure. While there will never be another moment in film when so many talented, young filmmakers rose so quickly to prominence like the Independent Film boon of the 1990's, Go-Kart has the right idea, they just have yet to find the right movie. Skip It.